Ecommerce continues to take a bigger share of retail sales, according to government data released today. Learn more about the trend.
Ecommerce accounts for an ever-increasing share of total retail sales, growing by 2.7 percent in the first quarter of 2013 - more than double the 1.1 percent increase for total retail sales, according to Commerce Department data released today.
Consumers spent $61.2 billion on Internet shopping in the first quarter, an increase of 15.2 percent compared to the first quarter of 2012, according to the Commerce Department. Over the same period, total retail sales grew by 3.7 percent to more than $1.1 trillion.
Click here for more information about ecommerce trends in the fourth quarter of last year.
Internet-based transactions now account for 5.5 percent of total retail sales, according to the Commerce Department, while last year at this time, ecommerce made up 4.9 percent. Experts say mobile technology is helping to drive the trend.
“Mobile shopping—particularly on tablet devices—is having an outsize impact on the ecommerce world, contributing to an increasing share of U.S. retail ecommerce sales and exerting more influence on overall retail sales,” according to a recent report from eMarketer, a company tracking the digital marketing industry. The firm predicts mobile sales – or “mcommerce” will account for 15 percent of ecommerce this year - up from 11 percent in 2012 - and expects the share to rise to 25 percent by 2017. The estimates exclude purchases of travel services and event tickets.
More than half of mcommerce transactions will be conducted via tablet, and roughly one-third will be made via smartphone this year, according to eMarketer projections. “Tablet users have the greater presence among digital buyers. Having a tablet almost guarantees that the person uses it for ecommerce,” according to the company.
Tablets drive commerce by stimulating “incremental purchases that stem from impulse buying,” according to eMarketer. Mobile devices also extend the shopping day and free consumers from their desktops or stores.
What other financial services do smartphone users seek? Click here to find out.
One possible headwind to ecommerce growth could be new taxes on Internet transactions, Gian Fulgoni, chairman of ComScore, a digital analytics company, said in a statement last week. “One wild card is the possible enactment of legislation requiring state sales taxes to be collected on every ecommerce transaction – which would reduce the Internet’s traditional price advantage and possibly dilute the channel’s growth rate.”